Absentee voting allows you to vote by mail
All registered voters in Michigan have the right to vote by mail. It’s a safe way to vote and protect your health, and the process is secure and accurate.
All registered voters are eligible to vote by mail
Due to the passage of the statewide ballot proposal 18-3, all eligible and registered voters in Michigan may now request an absent voter ballot without providing a reason.
Check your voter registration at Michigan Voter Information Center Michigan.gov/Vote
Requesting an absent voter ballot
Voters may request an absent voter ballot or accessible voter ballot in a variety of ways. Voters can complete an online application at Michigan.gov/Vote or submit an application, large print application, letter, or postcard to your local clerk. Find your local clerk at Michigan.gov/Vote. Requests for absent voter ballots may be returned may be returned by hand, via postal mail, fax or email, as long as a signature is visible.
Requests to have an absent voter ballot mailed to you must be received by your clerk no later than 5 p.m. the Friday before the election. If you’re already registered at your current address, you can request an absent voter ballot in person at your clerk’s office anytime up to 4 p.m. on the day prior to the election, this ballot must be completed at the clerk’s office. If you’re registering to vote or updating your address by appearing at your clerk’s office on Election Day, you can request an absent voter ballot at the same time you register. If you request your AV ballot the day before the election or on Election Day, you must vote the ballot in the clerk’s office.
Once your request is received by the local clerk, your signature on the request will be checked against your voter registration record before a ballot is issued. You must be a registered voter to receive an absent voter ballot, but you can register and apply for an absent voter ballot at the same time. Requests for absent voter ballots are processed immediately. Absent voter ballots may be issued to you at your home address or any address outside of your city or township of residence.
After receiving your absent voter ballot, you have until 8 p.m. on Election Day to complete the ballot and return it to the clerk’s office. Your ballot will not be counted unless your signature is on the return envelope and matches your signature on file. If you received assistance voting the ballot, then the signature of the person who helped you must also be on the return envelope. Only you, a family member or person residing in your household, a mail carrier, or election official is authorized to deliver your signed absent voter ballot to your clerk’s office.
If an emergency, such as a sudden illness or family death prevents you from reaching the polls on Election Day, you may request an emergency absent voter ballot. Requests for an emergency ballot must be submitted after the deadline for regular absent voter ballots has passed but before 4 p.m. on Election Day. The emergency must have occurred at a time which made it impossible for you to apply for a regular absent voter ballot. Please contact your local clerk for more information about emergency absent voter ballots.
Spoiling an absent voter ballot
If a voter has already voted absentee and wishes to change their vote (because the candidate has dropped out of the race, or for any other reason), a voter can spoil their ballot by submitting a written request to their city or township clerk.
- The voter must sign the request and state if they would like a new absentee ballot mailed to them or if they will pick it up in person at the clerk’s office.
- This request must be received by 5 p.m. the Friday before the election if received by mail. An absentee ballot that has been returned to the clerk may be spoiled in person at the clerk’s office until 10 a.m. the Monday prior to the election. An absentee ballot that has not been returned to the clerk may be spoiled in person at the clerk’s office until 4 p.m. the Monday prior to the election.
- If a voter has not returned his or her ballot, the voter can surrender the ballot or sign a statement stating that the ballot was lost or destroyed and vote at the polls. There is no option on Election Day to spoil an absentee ballot that has been received by the clerk.
Contact information about your clerk can be found in the voter information section of the Michigan Voter Information Center website.